Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

May 02, 2009 21:00 ET

Government of Canada Continues to Work With Partners to Address H1N1 Flu Virus

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 2, 2009) - The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) today confirmed 34 new cases of H1N1 flu virus, bringing the total number of laboratory confirmed cases in Canada to 85.

Today, the Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) received an additional 200 specimens from the Mexican Ministry of Health for diagnostic testing. Scientists at the National Microbiology Laboratory have also started full genome sequencing of the H1N1 flu virus. This research is very important as it will help the Agency to better understand the virus and its impact on populations around the world.

"A total of seven Public Health Agency of Canada officials, including epidemiologists and lab researchers, have been sent to Mexico to assist in their ongoing disease investigation," said Canada's Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq. "The NML is a world-class laboratory with the capacity to respond to issues of this kind. We are pleased to assist our Mexican Ministry of Health colleagues by making these services available."

PHAC continues to work in Canada with the provinces and territories to track the first 100 cases of this virus - looking at who it affects and how. This is essential to our understanding of the H1N1 flu virus and will continue to inform our public health response.

"The more we can understand about the H1N1 flu virus and its impact, the better we can protect the health of Canadians," said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer. "While the risk to most Canadians remains low, we want to contribute to the international investigation to inform the global public health response."

PHAC is also working with over 3,000 pharmacies across Canada to assess the impact the H1N1 flu virus has had nationally by monitoring the sale of both prescription and off the shelf flu medications.

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    Media Relations